The CTO of Block.one, Daniel Larimer, published a post about what blockchain a person or company should choose for their target or smart contract, highlighting some points to take into account when making this choice.
The CTO overcomes what are the most frequent claims for choosing one blockchain over another, such as “the fastest”, “the most scalable”, “the most decentralized” and so on, but starts from analyzing the type of technology that best reflects its use with respect to the needs of the end-user, company or individual.
The first analysis involves a comparison between trusted and untrusted governance, using as an example the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains which use DPoW (Delegated Proof of Work): the various mining pools determine which are the valid transactions to add to the block and the various nodes do not have a higher system of trust than others so, according to Larimer, this would be an untrusted system.
In DPoS (Delegated Proof of Stake) systems, instead, the block producers are directly elected by the token holders so it is assumed that these nodes can be trusted – within certain parameters – having a system where everyone can propose blocks and therefore everything would be objectively measured, such as CPU consumption. In this case, too Daniel Larimer mentions Ethereum 2.0 and also Cardano’s Ouroboros, systems which allow each account to produce blocks by simulating mining through staking.
According to Larimer, therefore, the choice of the consensus protocol is fundamental, more so than how the same consensus is reached.
The second aspect that is analyzed in the post is the censorship resistance and how this is useful to prevent transactions from being altered, modified or deleted later, so – unless you have most of the power of the network – this is not feasible and consequently generates confidence that a blockchain is not censored, despite the fact that in a scenario where there are 3 or 4 mining pools these would be enough to censor transactions on Ethereum or Bitcoin.
Another aspect analyzed by Larimer is the objective purpose against the subjective purpose of the protocols: systems like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitshares, Steem and Cardano require a long period of time to produce a better chain than another.
On the other hand, those that have an objective purpose, such as EOSio, some Hyperledger, Hashgraph and XRP, require that there are a number of known validators and if 1/3 of them fail, then the purpose of the blockchain cannot be achieved.
Hence a subjective system will be limited by performance, governance and latency.
The last aspect that Larimer highlights is the interoperability between blockchains and specifically the inter-blockchain communication (IBC), i.e. the possibility to make different blockchains interact with each other and integrate them into each other. Worth mentioning is the recent challenge to integrate Ethereum’s smart contracts into the EOS blockchain, thanks to EOS’s ability to emulate the Ethereum blockchain.
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